American Red Cross volunteers closed the emergency shelter yesterday that was opened last week to provide a place to stay for those impacted by last week’s devastating fire on Tamarack Blvd. The shelter, at nearby St. Elizabeth Church, had served not only as a place to sleep for many families and a place to get a meal but also as the base where caseworkers met with them to identify and address the needs of the families. All told, 15 families who had no where else to go had been spending the night in the shelter while efforts to find them new homes were underway. This morning, all of the remaining residents had either been relocated or had made plans to stay elsewhere.
Red Cross volunteers helped 39 families – a total of 77 people – who needed immediate assistance because the heavily damaged apartment building that had been their homes. With the help of the property manager and other partners, many of them were relocated to apartments nearby. Today, in an effort to help the families set up housekeeping, volunteers helped coordinate the delivery of donated household goods, appliances and furniture – particularly beds.
“Red Cross volunteers did an amazing job, once again, of taking care of our neighbors at a time when they were needed most,” said Matt Bertram, CEO of the Red Cross in Central Ohio. “Many of them spent a number of nights sleeping on cots themselves, right alongside those who lost their homes. I couldn’t be prouder or more grateful for the excellent care they provided.”
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